Yet the nature of social human beings requires “social rules” to govern its effectiveness. A lack of social rules would lead to social chaos, just as a lack of rules at home, in the classroom, in the workplace, and around the community would lead to certain confusion or even utter turmoil. Like any other set of rules, there are some social rules that are stated or generally well-known, and others that present a bit of mystery, or may still be unknown to some people.
Last week I wrote, “Demystifying the social context, by providing information about what people think, feel, know, expect, etc., as well as the choices we have available to us and potential consequences accompanying those, can restore a level of control, comfort and success. It allows us to make ‘informed social choices.’” There are numerous resources to help demystify the social context, including:
1. “The Social Response Pyramid(TM)”: The downloadable pdf Pyramid KIT (with all the pieces needed for having Pyramid discussions for only $8.00) contains reproducible templates for Pyramid discussions. It has been a fabulous tool to use with my own children as well as my clients. It helps me to discover the information they already have, find ways to provide missing information, and perhaps most importantly, it gives us an opportunity to stay calm and identify choices even when discussing difficult or emotional social situations.
2. The funny yet informative books which present social expectations and strategies in an “easy-to-digest” way for children and teens. These include:
· Dude That’s Rude…Get Some Manners
· Don’t Behave Like You Live in a Cave
· The How Rude! Handbook of Family Manners for Teens: Avoiding Strife in Family Life
· Bullies are a Pain in the Brain
· Siblings: You’re Stuck with Each Other So Stick Together
3. The delightful series of children’s picture books by Cheri Meiners. Each ends with suggestions for parents and professionals looking for ways to further teach these important concepts. Titles include:
· Share and Take Turns
· Know and Follow Rules
· Be Honest and Tell the Truth
· Be Careful and Stay Safe
· Join in and Play
· Accept and Value Each Person
· Reach Out and Give
· Be Polite and Kind
· Listen and Learn
· Respect and Take Care of Things
· Talk and Work it Out
· Try and Stick With It
· Understand and Care
· Cool Down and Work Through Anger
4. “The Incredible 5-Point Scale,” which equips teachers, parents, and students with a common vocabulary and framework for teaching, understanding, and monitoring a wide variety of responses, including emotions. Kari Dunn Buron’s sequel to this book, “A 5 is Against the Law,” covers the concept of “non-optional social compliance” mentioned in last week’s Social Incites™. (Be sure to also check out, “A 5 Could Make Me Lose Control,” and for adolescents and adults, “Social Behavior and Self Management.”
These are just a few of the resources available, all of which provide valuable information and support for those teaching or learning about social expectations and social effectiveness. (Watch our Facebook page for more ideas this week).
Best wishes as you continue to demystify the social context in order to help yourselves and others experience social success!